St Petrocs have successfully secured a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund.
The National Lottery Community Fund is a public body responsible for distributing funds raised by the National Lottery for “good causes”. Since 2004 it has awarded over £6 billion to more than 130,000 projects in the UK, and gives grants to organisations in the UK to help improve their communities.
The funds received will help to support our services for the next 6 months and will positively benefit our operations as we navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and, as the full consequences become apparent.
Despite government instruction to accommodate all homeless people, the number of people on the streets in Cornwall is growing by the day at present. We expect to see a surge in the demand for our services once the true impact of this crisis is felt. Factors to this include loss of jobs, relationship breakdown, loss of earnings, financial difficulties and lack of the ability to keep up rent and payments, increased use of drugs and alcohol, the non-eviction policy being lifted, and losing the temporary holiday accommodation which has been provided by the local authority to accommodate people sleeping rough during this crisis (B&Bs, hotels, caravan parks).
We are delighted to have been recognised as eligible to receive a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund and this money will enable us to fund new and additional work. We will be able to provide preventative outreach support work to those at risk of becoming homeless in Cornwall, extended opening hours at our resource centres (we are currently open 7 days a week to enable social distancing) and the funds will cover the costs of 5 of our frontline workers.
Homeless people are at high risk from COVID-19 due to the lack of home, and therefore nowhere to isolate. They have a lack of access to running water to wash hands and maintain personal hygiene as recommended due to the closures of public spaces and places (public toilets, libraries, cafes), therefore ensuring clients have access to our resource centres to fulfil these needs is essential.
The resource centres, in both Truro and Penzance provide housing advice and support, drop-in access to GP service, clothes, food, telephone advice and helpline. The Outreach Service supports people who are street homeless, hidden homeless (sofa surfing, & living in B&Bs).
We are well placed to respond to this demand for our services, having provided this support to the community in Cornwall for over 30 years.